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'Now Is Not The Time,' Says US, As China And Russia Ask UN To Remove Sanctions On North Korea

'Now Is Not The Time,' Says US, As China And Russia Ask UN To Remove Sanctions On North Korea

The United States on Monday opposed a proposal by China and Russia to remove a ban on North Korea exporting statues, seafood and textiles, according to Reuters.

What Happened

China and Russia submitted a proposal to the U.N. Security Council on Monday seeking to lift sanctions on key North Korean exports.

If approved, it will encourage talks between Washington and Pyongyang, said Russian U.N. Ambassador.

The proposal also seeks to stop restrictions imposed on North Koreans working abroad and the termination of a 2017 requirement for all such workers to be repatriated by next week, according to Reuters.

U.S. Reaction

In response to the proposal by China and Russia, a U.S. State Department official said now was not the time for the Security Council to consider lifting the sanctions.

North Korea is “threatening to conduct an escalated provocation, refusing to meet to discuss denuclearization, and continuing to maintain and advance its prohibited weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missile programs,” said the U.S. official. 

Along with the U.S., Britain and France have insisted the U.N. not remote the sanctions until the country gives up its nuclear and ballistic missile programs.

What’s Next

For the U.N. resolution to pass, it needs at least nine votes in favor and no vetoes from any of the members of the Security Council, that is the United States, France, Britain, Russia and China.

“We’re not rushing things,” said Vassily Nebenzia, Russian U.N. Ambassador to Reuters. Nebenzia further added that the current proposal seeks to lift sanctions that are “not directly related to the North Korea nuclear program, this is a humanitarian issue.”

Photo Credit: Pete Souza via Wikimedia


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